Sighting ship starboard, we raise the spyglass.

Mastless, she floats at the whim of the waves,

Her mates briney bailers feeding green glass,

Mangy like flea dogs, begging to be saved.

 

“What a woe,” says the Captain, turning port.

And the wind carries our ship swift from view.

Some sailors condemn with chortle and snort:

“Hoisted sail in a gale, ignorant few!”

 

Tragedy a fair wind for merchantmen,

The crew in the forecastle is full of cheer.

Disaster dreams do not their sleep offend.

Were but a one man amongst them a seer:

 

For storms blow west beyond the edge of sound

And it is plain these are no laughing clouds.

 

Joseph Byron Bennett

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